So Much Playtime Today

I made one loaf of whole wheat bread this morning to serve as a snack during baby club. This was the first time I baked a loaf soon after the dough rose, before refrigerating it. It turned out a little lighter than previous loaves I've baked. I also added a little rosemary to the dough, and it gave the bread a nice flavor.

But one loaf wasn't really enough. Those kids really can't get enough of the stuff, they kept wanting more and more slices, but I eventually ran out. Next time, I'll bake TWO loaves. That ought to do it. I put out both butter and hummus, which was good since one of the mothers can't have anything with dairy, so the hummus worked for her.

But overall the baby club meeting went well. Terry hung out the whole time, which was unusual, but everyone seemed to tolerate him well enough. It's not that he was disagreeable or anything, but we usually don't have men around during the day, so it was just different.

The kids liked all the toys, so that worked out, and there were plenty of toys for everyone.

William really likes the little girl Dorothy. He kept crawling after her, following her around the room, and "talking" to her. She is a very advanced talker (just turned 2 and has been speaking in complete sentences for a while now) and Terry said she thought it was hilarious when William was trying to talk to her, since of course he's just babbling. She was less amused by William groping her-- I think he was trying to use her to pull up to standing, but unlike adults, where all he can grab is our legs, he'd try to grab her arms or head to pull up on. Not cool. I think he was trying to pet her, too, since he was patting her like he pats Rambo. Very cute for us to watch, but he did seem to be annoying the little girl. We told her she could always run away from him since she can run faster than William can crawl, and reminded her that he's just a baby so he doesn't know how to act right yet.

I found it interesting that William seemed to take a renewed interest in his own toys when there were other kids playing in the room with him. It wasn't like he was trying to take toys from other kids, each was mostly playing with things from whichever box was directly in front of them, but he was pretty interested in the toys in the box nearest him.

It might have been that he was excited to play with toys since the other kids were all playing with toys, but I think it also might have been since he's not used to playing with certain toys in the TV room. We don't spent a whole lot of time down there in that room anyway, so the room itself must have had some novelty factor. But I took all the toys from all over the house, and gathered them all in boxes and baskets and carried them all into the same room. I think seeing a toy that has always been in the nursery appear downstairs in a box was pretty exciting for William. Highly unusual. I'll have to keep that in mind for the future. Periodically shuffle which toys are in which rooms so William won't get bored with them.

One of the moms was surprised we had so many toys when William hasn't even had his first birthday yet. That is apparently when most kids get lots of toys. It hadn't occurred to me that W already has many toys, since I really haven't bought very many for him. But I suppose we have received many, many hand-me-downs. One of my girlfriends in NYC has a son three years older than W, so at my shower she gave me pretty much ALL the baby toys and books she still had in her apartment, since her son had outgrown them. Plus we generally borrow a toy or two every time we visit my mother (she has TONS from watching the twins for their first year), and none have yet made their way back to her house. Although it is time to start swapping out. She has an entire 3rd floor for toy storage, and we really don't have anywhere to store old toys. The garage is pretty full with our own stuff (golf clubs, camping equipment, Christmas and party decorations. . .) so there's no room for boxes of toys. And you can only get to the attic by pulling yourself up through a little hole in the ceiling, so we reserve that for just the 2nd floor heat pump and TV antenna since it's so hard to get up there.

I'm glad I saved all my baskets. After consolidating households, we had a surfeit of baskets, but I did not let Terry get rid of any of them, figuring we'd use them for something. Have we ever-- the baskets are what we use to hold the toys in every room. The nice thing is that they already match the decor, and we haven't had to buy a toy box. I'll probably eventually put up some sort of shelves in William's room-- all the "how to organize" books say toy chests are problematic since the kids never know what's in the bottom, so a lot of toys never get played with, but if everything is on low shelves they can see every toy and reach every toy, and strings don't get tangled, etc. But we'll have to move out some of the extra furniture in that room before I do that. It's pretty crowded just because I haven't gotten rid of his baby things yet.

After baby club, Terry and I decided to have a picnic lunch since the weather was so nice. I also found out from one of the other moms that there is a playground in Old Trail that has baby swings! So we took our sandwiches and drove out there.

I'm pretty happy with that park! We were probably only there 30 minutes or so, but we chatted with a grandmother watching a 5 and 3 year-old, and a mom with a 9 1/2 month-old girl baby, and there was also another mom there with her 3 year-old and 19 month-old boys. The grandmother lives in the neighborhood there, and says that little park is always busy, so now that the weather is nice it should be easy for William find other kids to watch. He doesn't really play with other kids yet, but he does avidly watch them, and Terry and I think he learns things faster watching older kids do them than by watching Terry or I do them.

While we were at the park, we pushed William fairly high when he was in the baby swing. He really seemed to love it, he was giggling and laughing. Although I could tell when he was getting tired, since I noticed he started slumping down in his seat. Terry was at first hesitant to push William high, he's a worrywart. But then he later saw the mom pushing her 9 1/2 month-old girl just as high, but the girl wasn't holding on to the edge of the seat with both hands like William was, she was leaning forward and waving her arms around in delight. So I think Terry understands that kids don't really fall out of those baby swings, even when they're not holding on. I generally prefer watching William when Terry is not around, since he sees peril everywhere, and is kind of a drag. None of the moms I hang out with is uptight about that sort of thing.